“Why do you wear that mask?” asks a sexually aggressive woman who meets a tattooed-faced biker, known as ‘Damage’. The central protagonist of this gritty and yet emotionally rich New Zealand film replies: “So you can see who I am”. Much of Savage reveals the untruth of that remark, as writer/director Sam KELLY’s debut film strips away the protective armour that enables Damage to operate in the criminal world of motorcycle gangs.Ambitious gang members prepare to take control of the Savages bikers club, but before they attempt their coup, the film takes time to delve into the personality of a boy once known as Danny and his journey to become ‘Damage’ a key powerbroker of this bikers clan.
Spearheaded by a moody performance by Australian actor and Taekwondo champion, Jake RYAN, Savage unflinchingly penetrates the layers that reside beneath the biker’s machismo and offers a rewarding look at the wounds that can drive masculinity. (Russell EDWARDS)
Born in Wellington, New Zealand Sam KELLY is a graduate in Film with a Masters in Screenwriting from Victoria University. His short films have won numerous awards and screened around the world including official selections at Berlin, Clermont Ferrand, Melbourne, Uppsala and Raindance. In 2010 Sam was the recipient of the award for New Zealand’s ‘Young Filmmaker of the Year’.